Two aristocratic Frenchmen, D’Toukfel and Beaumont, travel America in 1831, to observe democracy, and culture. The flags, church bells, and sound of gun shots are marveled at, as the Frenchmen observe the celebration of the Revolutionary war… actually, the war of Independence. For the Frenchmen, revolutionary wars are grounds for both celebration and remorse.
Symbols in the parade are explained. From the wagons, to flags of various nations on display. Other observations that set American democracy apart from French democracy are made. Honor is upheld for George Washington, and that there have been no counter revolts, and orderly progression of government has occurred are noteworthy. Listen to an old veteran of the war tell about the war from his practical viewpoint of it. The honors of the day are for all who served, from soldier to general.
Speeches remind the Frenchmen of their less than honorable outcome of their revolution in the past July. In America, everything begins with a prayer. The Declaration of Independence is read, and with an electric feel from the listeners that was no theatrical production.
The speeches could have stopped there for our French visitors. To them the rest was the kind of nauseous pomp they might have found in their homeland.